Some Thoughts on Lars, his family, and his relationship with Sadie
This is Lars’s house. His parents are very into handmade crafts they saw on Pinterest. On the other hand, the room they let their son stay in still looks like and has the objects of an attic (Christmas lights, boxes, coats). Knowing Lars, he probably didn’t want knick-knacks and rainbows in his room.
His parents clearly care about him, though. They don’t suppress his personality. His mother even bought him the heart plugs.
I feel their family is one that’s stopped being on the same page some time ago. It’s a sharp contrast to Sour Cream’s family, who regularly communicates even though they don’t always agree. Lars’s family doesn’t seem to engage with each other on a level that both parties are comfortable with or understand. Can you imagine the breakfast scene but with Lars sitting there instead of Steven?
His parents see Lars as the person Lars wants to be, not as the real Lars. They see the tough, cool guy. They believe this so much that they’re not surprised he’s breaking into people’s houses as a burglar.
Lars is starved for the affirmation of his peers. With parents who see their son in town and immediately saying, “Let’s follow him!” you can sort of see how most of his childhood was. And we look back at the handicrafts and the general aesthetic of his house and his parents and we know that’s not the image he himself wants to project.
I’m not defending Lars, just trying to explain why he doesn’t want people to know about his parents, and why we’ve never seen them before.Their personalities just clash, most families do. The problem here is that they’re not making efforts to reach each other, or those efforts are taken at face value.
When Steven gave Lars’s parents the answer they wanted to hear, that was that. They didn’t question him or ask what was wrong or anything. In the same way, I can imagine that when Lars’s parents got him what he wanted, that was it as well.
Because neither are terrible people. Lars’s parents are concerned enough to talk about his grades and his education after Lars moved out. They didn’t give him one shot and then leave him on his own.
But what are their conversations like? His father remarks it’s great that Lars didn’t even swear this time. They both are incredibly surprised by how the conversation went.
His parents know him, but don’t know him well enough. I have friends, who will immediately lash out when their parents confront them with something they’ve done “wrong” or when it’s something they don’t want to do. They sort of clam up and just stop listening to anything, even reasonable things. And from experience, it’s because deep down, they know they’re not doing well. They’re upset with themselves but also don’t want to change.
Lars knows his responsibilities and what he’s supposed to do for school, but did you see all those F’s? He’d have to change a lot about his habits and his lifestyle, and it frustrates him because he wants to do better but doesn’t want to make all those changes and everyone suddenly feels up on his case and he doesn’t know how to answer them because they’re right but he wants to put it away.
The very intentional running sentence shows that approaching it the way, I think, most parents would approach it, “What on Earth happened? Is there something wrong at school?” would make him explode. It’s a personality thing. So they take the opposite direction. Someone like Lars probably acts like he doesn’t hear anything, and then fights about it, but when he’s alone these words weigh on him and he starts to feel bad for himself, and the cycle starts again.
In the show, who actually gets Lars to do things? His peers. The way his parents address Lars, talking about his education and his decisions don’t really matter to him, because he cares very little about himself. Time after time we see Lars pretending to be someone he’s not for the validation he gets from other people means way more. If his parents addressed him from an angle that involved peers, it may help a little more.
At his core, who was Lars? He was best friends with Ronaldo, until he started letting people’s opinions dictate whom he should be friends with. Sadie says it best when she called him out (as Steven) for acting completely different in public and in private. He’s not a terrible person, but he ends up doing terrible things for the sake of that validation.
Because Lars is short-tempered, impulsive, at times violent. He throws things and rips things up and yells a lot. But what’s he doing it all for? It’s when someone messes with how he wants to be perceived, and being cool is something he thinks he’s got down but doesn’t actually understand. He wants to be like the Cool Kids, and not care about anyone, except the Cool Kids care about their friends and family more than they’d like to admit.
Lars does all these things but he’s capable of a lot of good. Sadie points out in Joking Victim that when they played video games together, Lars brought her favourite food. That’s a thoughtful thing. And the events of Horror Club show that he’s not completely awful.
He’s done a lot of mean things, though. This episode, for me, is only the start of addressing that. Because at the end, it seems as though it’s a good thing Lars is mean again. Everyone liked the new Lars better, but his meanness is validated because Sadie prefers the original Lars. I don’t think this is the case.
Taken with a grain of salt, the ending makes sense. It’s not that Lars should be mean. Sadie likes having a friend who is cynical, and complains, and makes use of dark humour. Just look at the kind of movies she watches, and how she says things like, “I’d rather have my organs pickled,” in the same way Lars says, “I’d rather eat poop.” They do have a lot in common in terms of interests and humour and stuff like that. So why aren’t they acting like it?
Someone asked me:
Anonymous said: I don’t know if you’ve talked about this before, but how do you feel about Sadie and Lars relationship? To me they could work as friends, but they’ve both got a lot of growing to do before they approach anything resembling a romance. Because whenever they try, someone gets hurt. Sadie was willing to hold both Lars and Steven (a minor) on an island just so she could be with him and Lars was selfish enough to take advantage of Sadie and fake a back injury to sneak out of work. Sadie puts (cont.)
…way too much faith in him when he hurts her SO badly (I mean, she was crying really hard out of betrayal and anger when he went and did that sleezeball thing, and THEN to hang out with some other girl too?) but Sadie’s no angel either if she’s willing to KIDNAP people and strand them from friends, family, and supplies just for her own personal gain. But Steven Universe, for all their progress, is still doing the Good Girls Love Bad Boys trope that is so damn eye-rolling. Real life ain’t so.